After the fireworks had fizzled away from our 4th of July bash, my fiancé and I were destined to escape the summer heat and kick off the month with a 5 star weekend getaway!
We were on the hunt for somewhere not too far, not too close and that did not involve hopping on a plane or going to an airport. So, we went on the internet and started Googling resorts with the words; “peace, good vibes, and carefree” into our search.
carefree: without anxiety or worry.
With the magic of the internet, we were able to see some of the most stunning images pop up on our screen. Such as huge boulders glistening in the sunset almost like they were from some kind of fairytale. I mean, look at the size of those rocks! I was waiting for Jolly the Green giant to come around the corner.
Needless to say, I was immediately sold on the idea of a road trip to check out this rockin destination.
So, where is this breathtaking landscape located?
Yep, there is actually a place on Earth called – – Carefree, Arizona.
For all you readers around the world, Arizona is located in the Southwest region of the USA. Carefree is about a 45 minute drive from it’s capital, Phoenix. The backstory on this hidden gem of a town dates back to the early 1950’s when two developers, KT Palmer and Tom Darlington had a vision to create a hidden oasis while preserving the pristine indigenous desert growth.
Carefree later turned into a hot spot for big name celebs like Bob Hope, Barry Goldwater, Paul Harvey, Dick Van Dyke, Hugh Downs and Orson Welles.
But, don’t let all that grey hair fool ya because Carefree has since become a secret vacay getaway for people of all ages.
If you are like me and appreciate a little (or a lottttaaaa) luxury, than you will love this crown jewel of a resort that is tucked away within these marshmallow like rock sculptures.
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you The Boulders Resort & Spa!!
This recently renovated resort, sits upon 1,300 acres of Sonoran Desert foothills and features a championship golf course and a 33,000 square foot spa!
What makes this sprawling property so unique are the panoramic views of 12 million year old boulder formations and its virtually untouched surrounding desert landscape.
You literally feel like you’ve entered a whole other world once you arrive on site.
This one of a kind resort has plenty of on-site recreational activities, including tennis, swimming, and hiking which is just peeerrrffffecccttt if you have a husband with ants in his pants.
If that wasn’t enough to convince ya, let me take you through a quick journey of my recent stay and experience…
If this does not get ya – than I don’t know what will!
As you make your way through the city limits of Carefree, you start to see signage for The Boulders Resort. From there, you are greeted by a guard gate for all hotel guests.
God, I love a guard gate.
I’m all about privacy, exclusivity, and safety. Besides, who does not love an entrance like this?!
It is about a mile drive through a scenic road to the main lodge once you enter the gate. There you are welcomed by a friendly valet staff and front desk who go over all the ins and outs of the property. Somebody get me a map!
The lobby area has an upscale Southwest charm with cozy fireplaces, a main bar, and a sneak peak at the resort’s Palo Verde restaurant which just so happens to overlook a golf course and a oh-so sparkling duck pond.
After check-in, you are brought to your very own chauffeured golf cart that whisks you off to your room! You see, this is not your normal 5 star hotel – The Boulders is practically a mini village, with secret passage ways, bungalows, and paths going every which way!
Accommodations at The Boulders varies depending on how big you want to go. We stayed in one of their “Casitas” which is about 550 square feet with golf course views, a fireplace, outside patio area and a king size bed that would knock your socks off.
However, they also offer “Haciendas ” and “Villa Retreats” that go from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet! WOWZa’s!! Talk about bringing the family with ya! #NextTime
I am hear to tell you that whatever type of room you choose, you are absolutely guaranteed a marvelous view. Check out these pictures I took from our first night at The Boulders. We walked outside our patio and up a short trail to catch a glimpse of the sun setting over the mountains. Can you say, B-L-I-S-S?!
As the sun went down, our appetites went up so we decided to check out The Palo Verde restaurant and see if it indeed lives up to it’s reputation!
Our waitress, Theresa was marvelous and kindly explained the restaurant’s sophisticated, yet contemporary menu to us. Which is filled with beginner plates, shared plates and entrees. The menu won’t through you picky eaters off, so doubt get discouraged. There is something for everyone – just with a dash of elegance and a twist of creativity.
Oh, and if you are a “wine-o” – I think they got ya covered!
To start off our dining experience at Palo Verde, we opted for a local heirloom tomato dish that featured a pumpkin seed pesto and a white asparagus bisque soup.
Look at all those yummy colors!
P.S. What you are staring at below is a crispy egg. The yolk gently melted into the bisque which made each bite even more heavenly.
Nick and I would not be two Italian boys at heart if we did not end up eating something from the sea. So, next up on the course was a plate of charred octopus with a zesty chorizo verde sauce (yes, it tasted as good as it looks and sounds!).
Finally, for our main entree we went with a spicy grilled filet topped with a smokey blue fondue, miatake mushrooms and cipollini onions. I asked our waitress what the most popular entree on the item was – can you take a guess?
This is food porn at its best.
I give the Palo Verda restaurant two thumbs up. Bravo to the chef!
A few hours later and back at our “Casita,” we got bit by that darn sugar bug.
What are a couple of dessert loving travelers going to do in the middle of the desert?
Well, DUH – Order ice cream in bed, of course!
Day 1 at The Boulders was a big success. I could not wait to wake up for round 2!
The next morning, I was pool bound but not just to any pool – the pool at the 33,000 square foot spa had my name on it! To get to this compound of a spa, you need to call for a golf cart to zip you through an array of little pathways across the property. I had the pleasure of hearing about all the desert wildlife from my driver. Let’s just say you are bound to see anything from bunnies, to bobcats, to javelina’s roaming the property.
Once you walk into the spa doors, you a greeted by a stunning view of the pool and the pile of boulders that surround it (and safe from any wild pigs! LOL!).
This spa is truly a sight to see!
If you are a spa connoisseur you’ll appreciate the “his and her” locker rooms and private amenities that includes a sauna, steam room, showers, a tea room, and a state of the art fitness center!
But, what this spa is best known for is their variety of signature treatments and outdoor activities to rejuvenate and reboot. You have the choice of boulder climbing, horse back riding, mountain biking, to even participating in a private meditation class. Such a class will help you learn techniques to lower stress, and reconnect with you mind, body and spirit through personalized consultations at the spa’s vary own tipi and labyrinth.
I on the other hand decided to stick with the rock theme and pencil myself in for a “Silent Stone Treatment.” This by far was one of THE BEST spa treatments I ever had in my life. My therapist used ancient basalt stones, believed by many native cultures to hold great spiritual healing powers! And, that they did as they are primed with radiant heat to melt knotted muscles and bring relief to any tension. I really do not remember the last 15 minutes of the treatment because I drifted off to Narnia and back!
It was that incredible. Let me save you time from choosing any other service because the stone treatment was a slam dunk!
I took this picture of my treatment room to remember that fantastic feeling of peace I had. The smooth hot stones going across your body and around the curves of your neck, legs, and shoulders was out of this world.
As for the rest of my afternoon – – well, let’s just say it looked something like this!
If you are in the mood to take a road trip and explore a part of the world that is guaranteed to inspire you than I highly recommend The Boulders Resort & Spa. It is a much different take to a luxury experience, as you will find yourself connecting with the desert surroundings and the natural positive energy it brings to you.
That is why getaways are so important and so healthy for you!
It is time for you to turn off your brain, shut down your normal routine, start using all five of your senses again, live in the moment, and allow your mind to come to a state of calm.
Book your reservation and spa appointment now!!
And, make sure you let them know I sent ya.
The Other Hubby
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